New housing program helps 1st-time homebuyers close in New Brunswick’s Esperanza neighborhood

New Jersey Community Capital‘s Address Yourself program, in collaboration with New Brunswick Tomorrow, on Tuesday said it has completed the first residential real estate closings under the Esperanza Down Payment Assistance program. The joint initiative, launched in February 2022, is aimed at fostering homeownership for first-time, low- and moderate-income homebuyers in New Brunswick’s Esperanza neighborhood.

The collaborative grant provided three New Jersey families up to the maximum allowance of $30,000 to support purchasing their first homes.

The Velas, the program’s inaugural family to complete a home purchase, are longtime volunteers with New Brunswick Tomorrow’s Esperanza Neighborhood Project. NJCC began working with the Vela family in December 2021, providing homeownership counseling to support their effort to become “homebuyer ready,” including qualifying for a mortgage. Administered by NJCC, the DPA program is an integral component of NBT’s Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit initiative, endowed with a $160,000 fund.

“We are thrilled to witness the successful closings of the initial homes in this partnership between NJCC and NBT,” Jaymie Santiago, CEO and president of NBT, said.

“This achievement of our first closings exemplify our shared dedication to empowering individuals and families to achieve homeownership, fostering community growth and stability,” Bernel Hall, CEO and president of NJCC, said. “These grants and programs play a pivotal role in dismantling financial obstacles connected to homeownership, thereby fostering a more equitable path to building wealth. We look forward to expanding the reach of our Down Payment Assistance programs and making a lasting impact in the lives of many more aspiring homebuyers.”

DPA programs provide families with the resources necessary to support the significant upfront costs required to purchase a home. The financial support granted by NJCC and NBT will help families who live in Esperanza, where the median household income is approximately $38,000, compared with the statewide median of $72,000.

The Esperanza DPA program is made possible with funding from the New Jersey NRTC program, overseen by the Department of Community Affairs and supported by contributions from participating business entities, including Investors Bank, M&T Bank, NJM Insurance, PNC Bank, Provident Bank, Public Service Enterprise Group and Valley National Bank.